2017 Golf for Gold Recap

Originally slated for September 14 before a heavy downpour demanded postponement, SVSEF’s fourth annual Golf for Gold was held under sunny skies and prime conditions on September 28 at Bigwood Golf Course. The fundraising event drew fifteen teams of four to the green for a nine-hole scramble, followed by dinner on the deck provided by Bigwood Grill.
Taking home the win on the day was the team of Pete Atkinson, Riley Berman, Neil Bradshaw and Will Brandenburg with a 9-under 27. Along with the glory that comes with winning a championship, the team took home Vodka courtesy of Distilled Resources and SVSEF ball caps.
In an unprecedented three-way tie for second with a score of 29, the team of Rick Kapala, Yancy Caldwell, Chase Cleveland and Barrett Molter secured silver by way of a card off on the fourth hole, in honor of the event’s fourth anniversary.
Not wanting in fervor and enthusiasm, Chad Pringle, Brian Caulkins, Kirk Mason and John Shay took last with a score of 38. The team departed with vintage SVSEF caps and face shields. Boasting Longest Drive were Mimi Griswold and Chase Cleveland; for their efforts, they were awarded Sushi on Second gift certificates. Julie Potter and Will Brandenburg earned SVSEF Gold Team jackets for Closest to the Pin.
Thank you to Hank and Heather Minor, who reopened the restaurant for the event and provided a beautiful dinner on the deck, to staff Janet, Mike and George for their hard work and to Billy Weidner and his staff at Bigwood Golf Course. Our thanks also extend to contributors Matt Luck of Pride of Bristol Bay, Sushi on Second, SQN of Sun Valley Distilled Resources, Washington Federal and the SVSEF Gold Team.
Golf for Gold supports the SVSEF Cross Country Gold Team athletes, who compete at the elite national and international levels. This year’s team is comprised of Kevin Bolger, Rogan Brown, Matt Gelso, Jack Hegman, Cole Morgan, Kelsey Phinney and Mary Rose. If you would like to learn more about how to support these athletes in their endeavors, please contact SVSEF Director of Development Cynthia Knight (cknight@svsef.org, 208.726.4129).

Click here for more photos from the event.

Janss Pro-Am Classic 2017: A Recap

The Flintstones. © Glen Allison

If there’s anything this group does well, it’s costumes and celebrating SVSEF. The theme for this year’s 20th annual Janss Pro-Am Classic was “Cartoon Classics,” and participants did not disappoint. The Flintstones made a memorable appearance, rolling in with a footmobile to the show’s intro music. Where was Waldo? An anomaly of the books that had you squinting at the page for minutes, scanning and searching for the man with the striped shirt and hipster glasses, Team Where’s Waldo was everywhere – couldn’t miss ‘em. Had someone crashed the party, attendees would’ve been all set with the vigilante/superhero powers of Sturtevants Superwomen, Batman and Avengers. The list of exceptionally creative teams and costumes goes on; it was a blissful three days of walking and talking among the characters that colored childhoods and still intrigue generations today.

The title sponsor for the second year in a row was Bentley Motors and Tom O’Gara. Guests had the opportunity to test drive the Bentayga, Bentley’s world-class sports utility vehicle.

The three-day event began on Thursday with a cocktail party and pro presentation at Michel’s Christiania, graciously hosted by Carol and Paul Fremont-Smith, Jr. and Michel Rudigoz. The celebration was held in honor of Gary Black Jr., an iconic member of both the local and national alpine skiing community, who supported SVSEF as board member, board president and parent. Gary passed away last month. His wife Heather and friend Steve Porino spoke to Gary’s enthusiasm, passion and positivity that affected so many people in so many ways.
Heather Black speaks at Michel’s Christiania. Photo by Kat Cannell.

Despite bouts of snow and rain on Thursday, the skies cleared in time for racers to soak up the rays as they sped down the dual slalom course on Friday, March 31 and Saturday, April 1. A total of 20 teams participated in this year’s event.
The final four teams that contended for the Janss Cup were Archie, Beetle Bailey, Lee Gilman/South Park and Thomas the Tank Engine. With Pro Toni Standteiner’s clutch performance, Archie took third place. Thomas the Tank Engine sped to second, and the overall winner of the perpetual Janss trophy was Lee Gilman/South Park, comprised of Kyle Coshow, Tor Jensen, James Fisher, Mike Pfau, Pat Savaria and Wes Powell.
Lee Gilman Most Inspirational racers voted on by participants were Heather Flood Daves, pro athlete for Cat in the Hat, and David Pyle, of the same team. Also determined by popular vote was best costume, also sponsored by Lee Gilman. This year’s runner up was Team Saturday Morning Cartoons, with Liz Brown, Julie West, Paige Lethbridge, Charlotte Gourlay, Tatum Minor and Connor Farrow appropriately donning jammies and cereal boxes throughout the weekend. Taking home the win were the Flintstones, with Andy Cooley, John Jendrezak, Mimi Griswold, Curtis Pepin, Lucy More and Jared Goldberg impressively portraying the Stone Age characters with both accuracy and unbridled confidence.
Overall Janss Cup winner, Lee Gilman/South Park. Photo by Becky Smith.

Best crash went to Laura Blackburn of Fat Albert and Buzzy Yokoyama of Tom and Jerry. Best role player (for living dramatically during the Janss) went to Hailey Duke of Sturtevants Superwomen and Steve Porino of the Jetsons. Fastest recreational racers this year were KJ Savaria with a qualifying time of 21.56, and Teagen Palmer at 22.32. Both are SVSEF alumni. KJ and Teagen were also part of the winning team for the speed cup, along with Carl Rixon, Hunter Storey, Harlan Collins and pro Biche Rudigoz of team Batman. Again, all athletes are SVSEF alums. Avengers placed second and South Park third.
Our gratitude extends to auctioneer Larry Flynn and the band Marmalade Hill for an energy-filled evening at the gala dinner. SVSEF is also very proud of graduating senior Katelyn Rathfon for her terrific speech and Steve Porino for his refreshing insights. As always, announcer Kevin Clarke was on point, as was the race and timing crew of Chelle Gourlay, Baird Gourlay, Brian Ros and Brian Caulkins.
As well, we could not have hosted this event without the generosity of Robert Cimino, who provided the Warm Springs party venue, or the volunteers who lended their time and energy to keep the party going. Special thanks to photographers Kat Cannell, Becky Smith and Glen Allison for capturing the good times, and Spencer Cordovano and Chase Cleveland of Spencer Cordovano Video Production (SCVP) for their beautiful cinematography and editing of our video, “We are SVSEF.”
Waldo and Stan move through the gates. © Glen Allison

The Janss is held in honor of Bill Janss, who supported SVSEF for years. His wife Glenn described his impact and vision well; it was important to Bill that “every child had the chance to learn to ski and to benefit from this, knowing that that opportunity would serve them well into their futures with positive attitudes, confidence, and a desire to achieve.” Thank you, to our pros and participants, for gathering in Sun Valley to celebrate and support SVSEF. Thank you to Heather Flood Daves, Mike Hattrup, Bob Legasa, Connor Farrow, Bob LaPoint, Scott McGrew, Mike Gowe, Jonna Mendes, Phil McNichol, Miles Fink-Debray, Dan Herby, David Chodounsky, Biche Rudigoz, Hailey Duke, Drew Merklinghaus, Jared Goldberg, Toni Standteiner, Wes Powell, Jim Slanetz and Zach Crist.
Saturday Morning Cartoons at the gala dinner. © Glen Allison

51 years strong, the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation is dedicated to the growth and development of its athletes, ever mindful of its philosophy of Strong Minds, Strong Bodies, Strong Futures.
The immediate and tangible outcomes of these efforts are easy to identify; podiums, gains in strength and technique and significant improvements in results are noteworthy achievements, and surely things to be proud of. What most athletes who graduate from the program seem to most fondly recall, however, are the memories they made with their teammates and friends. It’s the lessons they learned and the characteristics they developed in their experiences with SVSEF that resonate with clarity in their everyday lives. The Janss is an opportunity to celebrate these ideals each year and to keep the momentum going, in hopes that an impact, whether great or small, is made in the lives of the young members of this community.
Thank you one and all for supporting us in our endeavors.
Special thanks go out to our sponsors for the event.
Title sponsor: Bentley Motors and Tom O’Gara
Titanium sponsors: Rixon & Cronin KW Luxury Homes and Columbia
Platinum sponsors: Knob Hill Inn, Lee Gilman Builders, Stan and Kristine Baty, Sun Valley Company, Paul and Carol Fremont Smith, Jr., Michel’s Christiania, Dr. Tom West, Sturtevants and That’s Entertainment
Gold sponsors: Coca Cola and Mountain Khakis
Silver sponsors: Smith Optics, Lutz Rentals, Fits, Pennay’s at River Run, Go Pure, Coal, At Your Place, Beyond Coastal, Hang Em Right, Chums and First Lite
Bronze sponsors: Galena Lodge, Clear Creek Disposal, Mahoney’s Bar & Grill, Davis Embroidery, SQN Sport, Starbucks, Patron, DRinc and Brass Ranch
Contributors: Atkinsons’, Bigwood Bread, Neecy’s, Perry’s, Power Engineers, Sushi on Second, Lost River Outfitters, Watkins Distributing, Wrapcity, Zenergy, Sysco, Despo’s, the Pioneer Saloon, Liz Brown, Tabasco, The Cellar and Knob Hill Grill


With the holidays right around the corner, we’ve all been inundated with countless messages of sales and deals. Today, we’re taking a moment in the whirlwind of it all to celebrate Giving Tuesday – a day that acknowledges and encourages the collective power of a unique blend of partners in our community to transform how people think, talk and participate in the giving season. #GivingTuesday inspires people to take collaborative action to improve their local communities by giving back to organizations that strengthen and improve the lives of those who live there.
50 years strong, the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation is a cornerstone nonprofit organization in the Wood River Valley that exemplifies and promotes core values of excellence, good sportsmanship, passion, perseverance and teamwork through winter sports. Team members, ages 6-27, acquire tools for success to help them excel in any arena, be it athletic or academic, learn to set and achieve goals and see obstacles as stepping stones. SVSEF athletes and their families enrich our community, fortifying the economic sustainability and cultural vitality of our valley.
SVSEF currently serves 572 student-athletes offering instruction, training and competitive opportunities in five winter disciplines; alpine, cross country, snowboarding, freestyle and freeskiing. Our 9-12th grade student-athletes compiled a collective 3.45 GPA last season and of our 26 graduating seniors, 25 were accepted to notable colleges and universities with six deferring to take a post-grad year to continue competing.
SVSEF’s mission is to provide exceptional snowsport programs for the youth of the Wood River Valley, thereby enabling each participant to reach his/her athletic potential while developing strong personal character through sportsmanship, solid values and individual goals. For the 2016-17 season, SVSEF awarded $250,000 in financial aid, ensuring each child who would like to participate on one of our teams has the ability and access to do so. As tuition only covers half of SVSEF’s annual operating budget, outside donations bridge the financial gap between program tuitions and the true cost of delivering world-class programing.
Please open your email from SVSEF to celebrate #GivingTuesday with us, or consider donating today, here.

November Newsletter

In case you missed it: the November 2016 parent newsletter.

October Newsletter

In case you missed it: the October 2016 parent newsletter.

2016 Golf for Gold Recap

The winning team of (L-R) Tom Van Hamerlyck, John Iosonides, Marc Reinemann and Keith Reidy with their trophy.

Although golf is fundamentally a competitive sport, it was a leisurely and genial Tuesday for SVSEF Golf for Gold participants at the Bigwood Golf Course in Ketchum – the focus of the day was on having a good time and raising funds for the SVSEF Gold Team. The event drew 19 teams of four, who competed in a nine-hole scramble. In a scramble, all players tee off, choose the best shot and continue to play in that manner. The score consists of the lowest number of strokes on each hole.
The winning team this year with a score of 27 was comprised of Marc Reinemann, Keith Reidy, Tom Van Hamerlyck and John Iosonides. The competition was tight, as the team consisting of Jack Dies, Mike Connelly, Jamie Hjort and Hanley Dawson came in second place in a card-off. In third was the team made up of Jamie Everett, Mark Eshman, Scott Lucas and Scott Harris. Hanley Dawson and Suzanne Walsh harnessed power and strength to earn the Longest Drive Award, while Chris Edwards and SJ McNichol won Closest to the Pin.
The Golf for Gold tournament, which just saw its third go-around, is a recent reinstatement of one of SVSEF’s original fundraisers, the John Harker Memorial Golf Tournament (1981-1991). Proceeds benefit the SVSEF Gold Team, which was formed in 2005 to financially support our elite athletes who compete on an international level. Present at the tournament this year were Gold Team athletes Jacob Beebe, Wing Tai Barrymore, Chase Josey, Cole Morgan, Jack Hegman and Rogan Brown. The evening ended with a buffet dinner with fresh Alaskan salmon thanks to Pride of Bristol Bay and steak prepared by Bigwood Grill. Thank you to Edwards Builders and Washington Federal for sponsoring the event, to Bigwood Golf Course for hosting, to Silver Creek Ford and Goode Motor for the potential hole-in-one prizes of trucks, and to Kelleher Family Vineyard, Pioneer Saloon, Pride of Bristol Bay, Sun Valley Company, The Valley Club, The Cellar, Sushi on Second, Kirk Anderson, Bigwood Bar & Grill and Bigwood Golf Course for their sponsorship and support. A big thanks as well to all of our volunteers and participants; the day was a huge success and we look forward to teeing off with you again next year!
For KMVT's story on the event, click here.

August Newsletter

In case you missed it: the August 2016 parent newsletter.

SVSEF Rising Juniors and Seniors Encouraged to Apply for True North Scholarships

Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation student-athletes have the opportunity to apply for a unique scholarship opportunity thanks to the generosity of the Kalik Family. The John R. Kalik True North Scholarship pays half (50 percent) of an athlete's tuition for the 2016-17 season. The memorial scholarships will be awarded to three SVSEF rising junior and/or senior athletes based on a simple one-page essay. Winners will be announced during Olympic Day on Friday, June 24, 2016 at Community School's Dumke Campus in Elkhorn. Recipients are chosen solely for merit, financial need is not a consideration. Past honorees include Ben Brunelle, Cooper Dart, Tobias Verheijen, Renee Shapiro, Grace Gorham and Wyatt Smith.

Here is the topic question for this year’s essay:

What have you learned about yourself as a member of SVSEF and how is this important in your day-to-day life? 

The True North Award celebrates the spirit of John Randolph Kalik who found his best self in Idaho. Inspired by mountains and starry skies, he discovered inspiration, meaning and purpose. He delighted in joyful fun, transcendence, gratitude, and love. John was killed in a plane crash in 1980 at age 24. We are grateful for John’s legacy and the Kalik Family’s generosity that profoundly and positively impacts the lives of our SVSEF student/athletes.

The awards value the idea of adhering to an inner moral compass that guides one to a life of true fulfillment. The awardees exemplify the core values of the SVSEF:

*Passion and Perseverance







Please return completed essays to Jody Zarkos via email or drop off at the SVSEF office at 215 Picabo Street in Ketchum by Monday, June 13. Questions? (208) 726-4129 ext. 102.  

Olympic Day is a celebration for all SVSEF student-athletes featuring field games, relays, a pie fight and the camaraderie and spirit of our organization. It also is part of a nationwide celebration hosted by the United States Olympic Committee of which SVSEF is an official training site for five disciplines: alpine, cross country, freestyle, freeskiing and snowboard.

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Miles of smiles for SVSEF's Olympic Day where everyone has a good - albeit - messy time.